Nostalgia tripping via old Toronto postcards

Bloor & Avenue Rd. 1901

Bloor & Avenue Rd. 1901

Bloor & Avenue Rd. now

Bloor & Avenue Rd. now

More photographs and the complete article on BlogTO

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I can help you find your Russian relatives

Whatever might be said about the translator’s life, it is not boring, that’s for sure. Recently Ancestors in the Attic, a Canadian TV show, contacted me about translating some letters of a long-dead father of a Canadian woman. He was in the Volunteer Army and left Russia together with the Army when it retreated. According to some letters, his brother made it out of Russia as well, initially to Prague, but then all connections were lost. If this woman finds her father’s brother or his descendants, the producers will make another episode of the show. I vainly hope they will put my name in the credits list.

This gave me a business idea: I could help people find their relatives by translating their letters and providing some comments to put them in historical context. I registered a domain for this, findyourpast.ca. I could even illustrate it with beautiful photos restored by Alex Gridenko.

Grandpa

A new blog on photography

My friend Alex Gridenko, a photographer and graphic designer, who also restored photographs of Prokudin-Gorsky (and who is responsible for the header photo of my blog), now blogs in English.
Check out his blog for great photos and design insights.
Alex Gridenko – Graphic design, photography and image restoration

Color photography dated 1907

In the early 1900s Prokudin-Gorskii, a Russian photographer, developed an ingenious technique of taking colour photographs. The same object was captured in black and white on glass plate negatives, using red, green and blue filters. He then presented these images in colour in slide lectures using a light-projection system involving the same three filters. He went around what was Russian Empire then (1909-1915) and produced a series of amazing photographs.

In 1918, after the revolution, he fled from Russia, taking with him only his collection of nearly 2,000 glass-plate negatives and his photograph albums. The collection was purchased by the Library of Congress in 1948 from his heirs.

In 2001, the number of glass plates have been scanned and, through an innovative process known as digichromatography, brilliant colour images have been produced.

Here’s one of them and a link to some more restored by Alex Gridenko.

Fishing settlement

Fishing settlement